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Effect of pelleted cereal-based feed used in the diet on feed intake, eating behaviour, rumination and nutrient digestibility in antelope sitatunga (Tragelaphus spekii)

P. Górka 1  ,  
M. Przybyło 1,  
J. Kański 1,  
University of Agriculture in Krakow, Faculty of Animal Sciences, Department of Animal Nutrition and Dietetics, al. Mickiewicza 24/28, 30-059 Kraków, Poland
Silesian Zoological Garden, Promenada gen. Jerzego Zietka 7, 41-501 Chorzów, Poland
J. Anim. Feed Sci. 2016;25(2):125–133
Publish date: 2016-05-22
The aim of the study was to determine the effect of pelleted cereal-based feed used in the diet for antelope sitatunga (Tragelaphus spekii) on feed intake, eating behaviour, rumination and nutrient digestibility. Three male sitatunga were fed a basal diet (chopped dehydrated lucerne, ground cereals, soyabean meal, vegetables and fruits) with ad libitum access to meadow hay. The animals were allocated to 1 of 3 treatments according to 3 × 3 Latin square design and fed diets where 0, 50 or 100% of dry matter (DM) from basal diet was replaced with a pelleted cereal-based feed. DM intake of the basal diet and meadow hay, as well as overall DM intake and organic matter (OM) intake did not differ between treatments (P > 0.05). The eating rate (g DM · min–1) of the basal diet increased (P = 0.03) whereas eating time (min · day–1) and eating frequency (n · day–1) tended to decrease (P ≤ 0.07) linearly as pelleted feed inclusion in the diet increased. On the other hand, a tendency (P = 0.07) to longer time of hay intake (min · day–1) was observed with increasing inclusion of pelleted cereal-based feed in the basal diet. Rumination frequency (n · day–1), time (min · day–1) and rate (min · g–1 of DM intake) did not differ between treatments (P > 0.05). Apparent total tract digestibility of OM decreased linearly (P = 0.05) with increasing pellet inclusion in the diet. Pelleted cereal-based supplement used in the diet affects feeding behaviour and thus may affect health and welfare of sitatunga in zoological gardens.
P. Górka   
University of Agriculture in Krakow, Faculty of Animal Sciences, Department of Animal Nutrition and Dietetics, al. Mickiewicza 24/28, 30-059 Kraków, Poland
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